Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali says England sequence ‘not over but’ after 1st Test loss | Cricket News

MANCHESTER: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali insisted there was all to play for following a dramatic three-wicket loss to England within the first Test at Old Trafford, the place his aspect have been “one punch away” from victory.
England, chasing a goal of 277 — just one larger whole has been achieved to win within the fourth innings of a Test on the Manchester floor — have been in bother at 117-5.
But a sixth-wicket stand of 139 between participant of the match Chris Woakes, who completed on 84 not out, and Jos Buttler (75) modified the course of the sport throughout Saturday’s fourth day.
It was a very bitter defeat for Pakistan as that they had been the higher aspect for a lot of this Test.
But the lack of a number of wickets late on Friday throughout an eventual second innings of 169 price them expensive in a match the place Shan Masood made a Test-best 156 within the first innings and leg-spinner Yasir Shah took eight wickets in all.
Pakistan, who haven’t misplaced a sequence towards England for 10 years, should regroup shortly earlier than the second Test in a three-match marketing campaign begins at Southampton on Thursday.
“It’s disappointing however not over but, there are nonetheless two Tests to go,” Azhar informed reporters.
“There lots of positives from this sport, we outplayed England on most components of this Test match.
“I would not say we misplaced the match in (our) second innings, however we missed an opportunity to knock England out of the sport there.”
Pakistan, nonetheless, have been nonetheless in command throughout an England top-order collapse on Saturday that noticed 4 wickets misplaced for 31 runs.
“We have been positive we might wrap it up if yet another wicket fell,” mentioned Azhar.
“But they (Buttler and Woakes) attacked from the off and snatched the sport away from us.
“Sometimes you simply have to offer credit score to the opposition.”
“We have been in command of the sport; we have been one punch away from ending the sport off, however they got here and dominated us throughout that interval.”
Azhar, a specialist batsman, managed simply 18 runs in a match the place he was out for a duck within the first innings.
But though he has now scored a mere 139 runs in his previous 12 away Test innings, Azhar denied captaincy was affecting his batting.
“When I bat, I’m not excited about the captaincy, whether or not or not I’m off form,” he mentioned. “And when I’m captain, I do not take into consideration my batting in any respect.”

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